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Grinding tiles like a pro - this is how it works

Master Tile Sanding: A Comprehensive Guide With Tips

Difficulty: Easy | Costs: from 15 euros | Workload: 30 minutes per sqm

A do-it-yourselfer grinding tiles with an angle grinder

Whether you're looking to refresh, repair, or repaint your tiles, tile sanding is often an essential step.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll show you why sanding tiles is so important, what types of tiles you can sand and how to do it.

We will go into various application examples and give you valuable tips so that your project is a complete success.

1. Why should tiles be sanded or just sanded?

Tiles are sanded for a bathroom renovation

Tile grinding is usually tackled during bathroom or kitchen renovation or refurbishment work.

1.1 Advantages of grinding

There are several advantages to grinding tiles.

  • Repairing imperfections
  • smoothing the surface
  • Improving adhesion to tiling
  • Preparation for polish

1.2 Areas of application

Tile grinding examples in the overview

  • painting tiles

    If you want to paint your tiles, sanding is an important step. Sanding creates a rougher surface that the paint can adhere to better. This will make the result more even and longer lasting.

  • eliminate imperfections

    Sanding tiles can help smooth out imperfections caused by installation or wear and tear. A smooth surface is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but also makes cleaning easier.

  • repair tiles

    For damaged tiles, sanding can help repair cracks or chipped edges. After sanding, the tiles can be treated with a suitable repair compound or filler.

  • Sanding tile edges

    Sanding the edges of the tiles may be necessary if they are worn or damaged, or if you want a more even finish. With the right tools and technique, you can smooth out your tile edges and create a more pleasing look.

  • Tile polishing

    After sanding, buffing the tiles can help to give them a nice shine. With special polishing tools and compounds, you can make your tiles shine and improve their aesthetics and durability.

1.3 These types of tiles can be sanded

Tile types that can be sanded in the overview

  • ceramic tiles :

    Ceramic tiles are tough and resistant to abrasion, making them well suited to sanding.

  • stone tiles :

    Stone tiles, such as marble, granite, or slate, can also be sanded to resurface or remove imperfections.

  • glass tiles:

    Glass tiles can also be sanded, but special care must be taken here to avoid cracks and splinters.

  • porcelain tiles:

    Porcelain tile is extremely hard and durable, making it a good choice for sanding.

1.4 Grinders and Machine

Machines that are suitable for grinding tiles are shown

There are various grinding devices for grinding tiles, such as:

  • angle grinder
  • orbital sander
  • delta sander
  • Grind by hand.

Our tip: Choose a machine you already own to reduce costs. If necessary, the grinding work can also be done by hand.

Choosing the right machine depends on the size and texture of the tiles and the desired result.

1.5 Abrasives

Tile grinding tools

There are various abrasives that are suitable for grinding tiles, for example diamond grinding pads , diamond grinding blocks or sandpaper with a suitable grit.

1.6 Table of grits

50 grit

Cleaning and renovation sanding

100 grit

Extended cleaning and renovation sanding

200 grit

Basic cut (without scratches)

400 grit

Preparation polish

800 grit


1500 grit

Preparation high gloss polish

3000 grit

Mirror Polish Enhanced

Make sure the sanding material fits your sander and is suitable for the type of tile.

Our experience: These abrasives are available in different grits. Depending on the area of ​​application, you should use the right grits in the appropriate order.

Diamond grinding wheels for grinding and polishing tiles

1.8 Sand tiles or sand tiles? Where's the difference?

When grinding tiles, there are basically two different techniques: grinding and grinding. The main difference between the two lies in the intensity of the grinding process and the goals associated with it.

1.8.1 Sand tiles

Tile sanding is most often done to lightly roughen and prepare the surface. It is ideal if you intend to paint the tiles or apply a new coating. Sanding creates a rougher surface that improves adhesion of the paint or coating. This method works well for minor bumps or minor damage.

  • Tiles are slightly roughened and prepared
  • Ideal step before painting or applying a new coating
  • Improving the adhesion of the paint or coating
  • Suitable for minor bumps or minor damage

1.8.2 Sand tiles

Explanation: Tile grinding is a more intensive method used to restore badly damaged or badly worn tiles. This involves removing a thinner layer of the tile surface to remove deeper cracks, scratches or other defects. Abrading results in a smoother and more even surface, which also lends itself to polishing or other finishing.

  • Intensive method for restoring badly damaged or worn tiles
  • Removal of deeper cracks, scratches or other defects
  • Leads to a smoother and more even surface
  • Suitable for polishing and other processing

2. Safety Equipment

Sanding tiles can generate a lot of dust and small particles.

It is therefore important to wear appropriate safety equipment such as a dust mask, safety goggles and gloves.

3. Step-by-step instructions on how to sand tiles correctly

A craftsman grinding tiles with an angle grinder and diamond grinding pads

3.1 The important preparation

First you should prepare the work area.

Remove all furniture and decorations from the room and cover the floor and surrounding areas with protective film. Make sure you have enough space to work safely.

Our tip: In order not to spread the dust in other rooms, it can make sense to use a dust protection door.

3.2 Grinding Process

  1. Mount the grinding tool on your machine.

  2. Start sanding the tiles.
  3. Hold the grinder firmly and move it evenly across the tile in a circular motion.
  4. Avoid applying too much pressure to avoid damage.
  5. Sand until the desired surface finish is achieved.

3.3 Post-processing and cleaning

Clean tiles after sanding and remove dust

After grinding, the tiles should be thoroughly cleaned to remove dust and grinding particles.

After that, you can proceed to the next step of your project, such as painting the tiles or applying a new coating.

4. Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Avoid mistakes when grinding tiles

4.1 Various errors can occur when grinding tiles.

Here are the most common:

  • Missing safety equipment:

    Sanding tiles creates a lot of dust and small particles that can be harmful if inhaled. Make sure you always wear a dust mask, goggles, and gloves to protect yourself.

  • Unsuitable tool:

    Not every grinding tool is suitable for every type of tile. It's important to use the right tool and abrasive for your specific tile to avoid damage and get effective results.

  • Lack of preparation:

    Before you start sanding, you should have all the materials and tools you need, as well as tiles, ready.

  • Insufficient post-processing:

    After sanding, it is important to thoroughly clean the tiles to remove dust and sanding particles. Otherwise, these particles could affect the end result or even be harmful to your health.

  • Uneven grinding:

    Applying too much pressure to a certain spot while sanding or not moving the tool evenly can result in an uneven finish. To avoid this, always try to move the grinding tool evenly and with controlled pressure.

5. Conclusion - Grinding tiles is not difficult

Sanding tile is an important step in many home improvement projects.

With the right tools and techniques, it can help improve the tiles and prepare for the next steps.

While there can be some challenges, a diligent approach and good preparation can help minimize them and ensure a successful outcome.

6. FAQs - Common customer questions answered

  1. Can I sand any type of tile?

    Yes, basically you can sand any type of tile. However, the appropriate method and abrasive may vary depending on the type of tile.

  2. How often should I sand my tiles?

    It depends on the usage and condition of your tiles. If the tiles are badly worn or damaged, sanding can help. Otherwise, it is usually not necessary to sand the tiles regularly.

  3. Can I sand my tiles myself or should I hire a professional?

    With the right equipment and preparation, you can sand your tiles yourself. However, if you are unsure or if it is a large project, it can make sense to hire a professional.

  4. How long does it take to grind tiles?

    The duration of the sanding depends on the size of the area and the condition of the tiles. For a medium-sized bathroom, however, you should plan at least a day.
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